Home > Fiction > The Proposal – Part 1

The Proposal – Part 1

A lazy Sunday morning and Avinash looked at his cell phone and saw that it was 7.30 am. Too early for a Sunday morning he thought but the cell phone buzzed. It was a message from Monica. Avinash groaned realizing it would be a message to meet or call and he was not in the mood to do either.

He did open the message and it was a terse text message’ “Call me. We need to meet and talk.” “There goes my lazy Sunday,” thought Avinash and dragged himself off his bed. He lazily brushed his teeth and started making his morning tea. He was about to have his first sip when his cell phone started ringing. He knew it was Monica. He picked it up and he could sense Monica’s impatience through the phone.

“We have to meet today,” she said. Avinash responded, “How about lunch? I will pick you up and then we can head out for lunch. What is the matter though?”

Monica was silent for a second. “I will tell you when we meet,” was her reply and she cut the call.

Avinash relaxed and went back to his tea and the morning newspaper. Half an hour later he was holding the newspaper but his mind was on the call and Monica. If he was asked to describe her he would call her impatient, hyperactive and definitely a motor mouth. He grinned merely at his description of her. He had not shared it with her. He was fairly sure she would take a swing at him for using those words to describe her.

Their meeting was a fairly staid affair. They met at common friend’s birthday party and ended up talking current affairs. They did not exchange phone numbers but met again when the same friend got free tickets to a movie. Monica then asked him his phone number as she wanted to know about job openings in Avinash’s company. She never sent him her resume but they started talking on phone and mostly Monica called and asked him out.

Avinash was aware that he had feelings for her but he was too driven by his goals and responsibilities and decided that it was best left unsaid. The rest of the world kept asking him about Monica but he always called her a friend and left it at that.

It was almost 18 months since they had first met. They had talked a lot during that time. He knew Monica came from a very well to do family. He was an engineer working in IT with his father from a government employment background and mother was a teacher with a younger brother and sister for siblings.

The clock chimed 11 am and Avinash got off his comfortable sofa and ambled to the bathroom for a wash. He let the hot water wash him and felt fully awake. He wore his trusted old jeans and shirt and grabbed his purse and decided to hurry.

He and Monica had not decided on a time but she was mercurial at times about being late. Monica lived 20 minutes away. Avinash looked at his watch when he rang the bell. 12.20 pm, not too late he thought to himself.

Monica opened the door. She was still in her casual clothes but her eyes were angry. Avinash disregarded that and asked, “Where do you want to go for lunch?”

Monica let him in and said, “I have some news. My parents are look for a suitable match for me to get married.” Avinash smiled, “That is not news. That is something that happens at every home in India with an unmarried girl or guy. If it’s not your parents, it’s the rest of the world that keeps asking.”

Avinash did not foresee the next event. Monica swung her hand and struck him across his face. As he was recovering, she was yelling at the top of her voice, “I have been in love with you since the time we met. I called it attraction for 3 months then realized it was love. I waited for you to say something but all I got was silence and now you act as if everything is ok.”

Avinash was reeling more by the impact of the words. He never imagined that Monica would fall for a guy like him. He was not hard to look at but he saw the mirror daily and he was no Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Monica on the other hand looked every bit a model and he always wondered how she ended up in IT.

All he could do was laugh. The pain of the slap was still burning his cheek but the irony of the situation was not lost on him. Avinash’s mirthful laugh was loud and irritating. Monica sensed that but she was trying to find malice in it but there was none she could sense. The Sunday was going to be a long one for both of them.

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